Whether it’s to stay solvent or to stay sharp and connected, older Americans are increasingly set on staying in the workforce past the age where our parents thought it was a good idea to retire. Adults over 50 represent one of the fastest-growing employment groups in the U.S. and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 percent of all American workers will be 55 or older by 2015.
If you never planned for a working retirement, those statistics may look grim – but some of the reasons that seniors are staying in or rejoining the workforce are anything but. After all, the need or desire to work in retirement reflects the fact that as older Americans, we are healthier and living longer than seniors of past generations. And companies are increasingly recognizing the value of mature workers.
In response, a number of new resources are springing up to help seniors connect with jobs.
This week, the National Council on Aging released JobSource, an online jobs resource designed especially for seniors. JobSource aims to help job-seekers determine what sorts of jobs they may be suited for (Job Match) and connect them with job listings in their area (Job Search).
First, the Job Match system. It’s as simple as they come. Just click through a series of slides that ask you to assess your skills, interests and personality on a sliding scale, and you’ll receive a list of potential careers, each with a profile of what the job entails. It’s a great resource if you haven’t held many jobs or are thinking of transitioning to something new and are curious about what other types of jobs you may be able to consider. You can also work to upgrade your skills by registering on JobSource to gain access to more than 30 online courses.
Searching for a job is just as simple; just check off a few simple categories and hit “Search.” The best part is, the job profiles remain. With some of the extraordinary (and not at all descriptive) job titles thriving in the labor market these days, that’s a feature more job sites could stand to employ.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost six percent of workers over the age of 55 were looking for work in February. That’s lower than the 7.7 percent national unemployment figure, but it’s a tough job market for seniors: The Bureau states that older workers are likely to be out of work for much longer than younger counterparts. As a new resource to help mature workers find and attain employment, JobSource couldn’t have come at a better time.